I'm not quite sure how I ended up picking Duck Soup as the focus for the July 4 Vintage Image of the Day. At first, I thought I would pick something from a traditionally patriotic movie, and pondered my options: Yankee Doodle Dandy? Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? It all seemed a little obvious. Then I thought perhaps I should pick something more subversive, like A Foreign Affair, but I used that elsewhere recently. Red Dawn? Animal House? Good Night and Good Luck? I sighed and tried to remember movies that included the national anthem, and suddenly the anthem that popped into my head was, "Oh, Freedonia, don't you cry for me ..." So Duck Soup it was. (What can you expect from someone who named her cat Rufus T. Firefly, after Groucho Marx's character in that film?)
Duck Soup sounds like a great movie to watch at the end of a long holiday weekend, after a long day of slaving over a hot grill, sitting on the lawn, and drinking beer. It doesn't take much energy to appreciate the Marx brothers' crazy dialogue ("You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff."), and the political satire is still pretty sharp today. If you live in Austin, you can watch the movie for free on Wednesday night at the San Antonio Street Cafe in a double-feature with A Night at the Opera.